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Startups Get Help at Legal Clinic Brunch

The Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation (GAGDC) along with The Law Project and other developers hosting a Legal Community Clinic Brunch.


The Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation (GAGDC) along with The Law Project and other developers hosted a Legal Community Clinic Brunch last week at Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church, located on 7545 S. Vincennes, to help small business owners set up their businesses appropriately and legally. Other services and resources that were provided for small business owners included information on business loans, grant opportunities and financial projections.

Nicole Wheatly serves as a consultant on GAGDC’s staff. She also provides project management for community planning. "The event was an opportunity for participants to determine a vision for their startups and explore business goals," she said.

“Businesses need to learn how to manage and operate their businesses be tter so they can attract more clients so their businesses will be able to grow,” Wheatly said. “It’s paramount that they learn and understand how to execute their business plan successfully. We see that some people are set up inappropriately or not set up at all.”

She added that there are major grant opportunities that are available for small businesses to expand, like The Neighborhood Opportunity Fund, which “generates revenue from downtown developments to finance commercial and cultural projects in neighborhoods lacking private investment,” according to the

Wheatly explained that some small business owners are upset that they aren’t getting access to these types of grant opportunities, but she said the problem lies in the language that the owner's use in the grant applications.

“People learned the details about these grants and if they needed help applying for them and making sure they complete the application accurately, then they had free support to help them have a more competitive grant application to fund,” she said.

The main purpose of the event and desire of the GAGDC organization was to develop and establish more small businesses within the community. Wheatly explained that if more businesses are established in the community, then the sales tax dollars would be re-invested into the neighborhood, leading to better access to funds and other opportunities.

“If you get good businesses within the community that people begin to support, then the support for the community increases and then we’re able to s tart receiving those things which we don’t currently have,” she said. “So, other neighborhoods in downtown and Hyde Park, all their sales tax dollars are able to be generated and then re-invested back into the community. It’s paramount that we start investing in our own community so the sales taxes can generate opportunities of growth and development for the community overall,” she said.

Posted in Auburn Gresham in the News


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